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©ur Jonhon (Kormpimknt.

:PASSING EVENTS, RUMOURS,…

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----THE CLERKENWELL OUTRAGE.

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m ktllititcmts fiMtgenet,|

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m ktllititcmts fiMtgenet, HOME, FOREIGN, AND COLONIAL, BEQUESTS TO CHARITABLE INSTITUTIONS.— The Medical Times and Gazette remarks :— A correspondent informs us that an old gentleman named Mus grove, of Bramley, near Leeds, has left a large sum of money to a gentleman, on condition that he adds the name 01. Musgrove to his own, and that he pays to the trustees of the Leeds Infirmary £10,000 to the Eye and Ear Infirmary, £10,000; to the Leeds Fever-Hospital, £10,000; and to the Bradford Infirmary, £10,000. With the latter institution the testator endeavoured to drive a hard bargain. Being above eighty years of age, and having no use for £10,000, he offered to give it to the Bradford Infirmary provided the trustees of the institution would pay him 10 per cent. for it during his life. The trustees very wisely refused, and perhaps were thought better of by the millionaire for so doing, for he left the Bradford, as the other hospitals men- tioned, to be benefitted by his legatee. This is what people call charity. FREEING A SLAVE.—When Captain Faulkner (one of the Livingstone search party) was staying with a native chief, his host offered him a present of a young black lady. He was shown the present, dan asked whether he liked it, and, "for the fun of the thing," he answered "Yes." The captain was then told he must catch her for himself if he wanted her— this was the courtship. They are not quite indifferent to appearances, these African chiefs, but they have strange notions of the dignity of "the service." Fancy a British captain chasing a black nymph as a Cockney chases a housemaid at kiss in-the-ring on Boxing-day. The sight would only be inferior in horror to that of the officers of the Guards alighting at the door of the Crystal Palace from an excursion van, which Punch thought would be worth looking at. The lady did not like the captain, and the captain did not like the chase, so, to make matters pleasant, the present was bound with cords, and brought howling to its white lord. Presents seem all equally hard to please, no matter what the colour of their skins. Then the captain said, finely, he would treat her as the English always treated slaves, whereupon he took his knife out, cut the cords, and set her free. A graceful ending to a pretty story. ABORIGINAL CRICKETERS.—A Sydney paper says the eleven Australian aboriginal cricketers will reach London next May. They were to leave New South Wales for Hong Kong in November last. Three of them are married men; all of them speak English well. They are not only expert cricketers, but they will astonish English people by their expert- ness in throwing the boomerang and spear, and in running and jumping. Their cricketing dress con- sists of white flannel trousers, military red shirts, with a blue flannel sash sewn on from the right shoulder to the left hip. They have elastic belts, white linen collars, and French merino under-shirts. Each man has a separate coloured cap. AN UNPUBLISHED LETTER OF BURNS.—The following letter (says the Banffshire Journal), in the handwriting of Burns, was given by Mrs. Begg, the poet's sister, when residing at Tranent, to a certain Mr. F., who had shown her no little kindness. This letter, which has hitherto escaped publication, is now in the possession of Mr. F.'s son, who, though of mi- gratory habits, has his homestead within a hundred miles of the capital of Badenoch:— Ellisland, 14th August, 11sg.-My dear William, I received your letter, and am very happy to hear that you have got settled for the winter. I enclose you the two guinea notes of the Bank of Scotland, which I hope will serve your need. It Is, indeed, not quite so convenient for me to spare money as It once was, but I know your situation, and I will say it in some respect your worth. I have no time to write at pre- sent, but I beg you will endeavour to pluck up a little more of the man than you used to have. Remember my favourite quotation— On reason build resolve, That column of true majesty in man What proves the hero truly great Is never, never to despair. Your mother and sister beg their compliments,—A Dieu j8 vous commende.—ROBERT BURNS. A SECRET JOURNAL IN FRANCE.—A second number of the secret journal, La BSpublique, has been seized by the police in Paris, and anonymous letters have been received by the authorities, warning them that if the agents of the police continue their arbitrary arrests one of the principal police-stations will be burnt down, together with all its inmates, by a society of forty persons which has been formed for the purpose of putting an end to police abuses. This society has also notified its determination to prosecute at the assizes the next policeman that ill-treata, a citizen. Great alarm prevails both at Court and in the police depart- ment in consequence of these announcements. La MSpublique professes to be the organ of a secret revo. lutionary government, whose object it states to be the liberation of France from the shameful yoke which has oppressed it for sixteen years." It calls upon the French republicans to avenge themselves on the Emperor, "who has fattened on republican blood," and urges every republican, like a second Brutus, to strike the tyrant wherever he may find him." The old republican device: "Liberte, egalitd, fraternity," appears at the head of the paper, and" Vive la Kepublique" at the end. A PENITENT THIEF.—Some time in the end of autumn last year, the house of a respectable labour- ing man, in the parish of Marnoch, Scotland, of the name of Prize, was entered on a Sunday, when the family were all at church, and a bank receipt for £1l2t with £14 in cash, carried off. A neighbour named Taws was suspected, and made prisoner, but as the main evidence was that of a female of weak mind (who maintained that she had seen Taws enter by the window), and as he gave a plausible account of the mode in which he became possessed of the receipt and money, which had been found on his premises, he was, after examination before the sheriff, dismissed. Taws went home, but could find no rest; and the conse- quence was, that about a month ago he arrived in Banff one evening, obtained an interview with the sheriff, and made a full confession of his guilt. He has been sentenced to three months' imprisonment. EXAMPLE IS BETTER THAN PRECEPT.—Treat- ing of "mistress and maid" in the question of dress, the Saturday Review comes to the conclusion that a reform in the dress of lower-class females," and maid-servants in particular, can only be brought about in one way. The reaction in favour of a neat and simple style must come from above, and not from below in the way of example, not precept. -When ladies of position and fortune cease to lavish their thousands on millinery, their copyists in the nursery and kitchen will cease to spend their wages on a similar object. When every one above the rank of a governess dresses in a manner suitable to her station, complaints will be no longer heard about "unbecoming" finery below stairs. The chief incentive to showy dress among the lower order of females is unquestionably a desire to ape the extravagance of their betters. Remove that incentive, and the evil which a corres. pondent of a contemporary, under the signature of a Clergyman's Wife," so forcibly deplores, will soon cure itself. We hope that she may be induced toturn her reforming zeal into another direction. Instead of indulging in childish projects for-putting the Sunday- school, and the church singers, and maid-servants, and the lower order of females generally into uniforms, let her attack the mischief at its root, and persuade the fine 18,dielLOf the earth to curtail their monstrous pro- digality and'immodest vagaries in dress. Let her add her warning voice to that of the Head of Latin Christianity, who has recently denounced this scandal of the age with the same perennial vigour that characterises his anathemas on the subalpine govern- ment. THE' SUPERIORITY OF ENGLISH WORKMEN.— The Journal de Eoubaix publishes the following peti- tion addressed to the Emperor Napoleon by the work. men of that town :— Sire,—The undersigned come to supplicate your Majesty to be pleased to abolish the Treaty of Commerce concluded with Great Britain. Our experience of it down to the pre- sent day has sufficiently proved eur Inferiority, and only leaves us the prospect of great misery. Our manufactories are without employment, wages are being reduced, aad the price of provisions Is rising every day. The commercial disasters which have just afflicted our country plunge 111 in to the greatest anxiety. We pray your Majesty to con- sider the deplorable position created for us by the treaty in question. At the time of your last visit to Roubalx, Sire, you deigned to promise our employers that you would occupy yourself with this matter in a manner befitting ita importance. For your Majesty to will anything is to be able to do it; and we think that you can scarcely remain indif. ferent to our situation. Our welfare, Sire, ought to coincide with your own, and we wait with an entire confidence for the decision which you will he pleased to take with the view of improving our position. (Here follow the signatures.) A SPANISH LEGION FOR THE POPE.—A letter from Rome says that a legion is being formed in Spain entirely composed of Spanish caballeros, as the Zouave corps is entirely composed of counts, marquises, and dukes of France and of Belgium. With regard to the Spanish legion, I ought to mention to you & rumour which prevails in certain governmental circles, and which, if true, might interest not a little the King's fovernment. It is said then that Isabella II. has eclared her intention to organise this legion in the same manner as the French government organised its Antibes Legion, forming it, that is to say, entirely of regular Spanish soldiers, whose term of military service under the Pontifical banner will be reckoned as though passed under the standard of her Catholic Majesty. A BRILLIANT AFFAIR.—The last ball at the Tuilleries was just as brilliant as the preceding, although with a somewhat more restricted number of guests. Her Majesty wore a dress consisting of several skirts, trimmed with acacia-flowers and green leaves, and looped up by a sort of ch&telaine of pre- cious stones—emeralds, rubies, and sapphires; the front of the corsage was covered with a berthe of emeralds and diamonds, her Majesty wearing a diamond necklace, similar jewels in the hair, with acacia-branches formed of emeralds. The Princess Mathilde had on a dress of yellow satin, with black velvet, and displayed a splendid suite of diamonds; the Princess Murat was in mauve satin; and the Princess de Metternich in white tulle, sprinkled over with sprigs of lilac, diamond necklace and coronet. Their Majesties walked through the rooms more than once, and spoke to many of the guests. Supper was served at a little after twelve, but dancing did not terminate until three in the morning. ANECDOTE OF CHARLES DICKENS.—The Boston Commonwealth relates the following story of the great English novelist:— A lady of Charleston, a great admirer of Mr. Dickens's writings, but unfortunately paralysed in' her limbs from an accident so that she cannot walk, wrote to Mr. Dickens to ask if the doors of the Temple could be opened to her earlier than the usual hour, and that she might be lifted into the hall unobserved by other attendants upon the readings, mentioning to him her infirmity of limbs. Mr. Dickens sympathisingly and gratefully acknowledged the note, gave the requisite order for the lady's accommodation, and claimed the honour of presenting her, besides, with com. plimentary tickets of admission. A CONVICT IN THE PULPIT.—A clergyman of the Church of England was left by the death of his re- latives the last of his family, and, resolving to emigrate to America, took ship, with his worldly effects, to end his days with preaching the Gospel there. A convict, leaving his country for his country's good, in the same ship, concealing his true character, became intimate with the clergyman. On the passage, how- ever1 the latter took sick, was nursed assiduously by the other, and, dying, left all his effects, including his sermons, letters, and testimonials, to the unknown nurse. Upon arriving safe in America the convict assumed the name of the deceased, and, presenting the letters and credentials of the departed to the Bishop, was invited to preach, which he did, using one of the sermons he had inherited, and was called to a. church, where he officiated acceptably for several years. The truth would not have been discovered had not the wretched impostor divulged it on his death-bed. SCAN-MAG OF THE UPPER TEN.—A writer I in a Paris paper speaks of a mysterious affair in these I terms :— The mysterious hints thrown out about society in Paris are curious. The young Marquis of ——— has not married the lady on whom he has bestowed a magnificent hotel, servants, and jewelry. This has caused great trouble in a high family where the daughter was to have married the young nobleman. Domestic convulsions, whilst the young Marquis threatens to commit suicide unless supplied with more money. The young nobleman don't kill himself, but indulges in betting in order to place himself in funds again. Lady of high rank in despair as to her daughter. Prince Napoleon referred to. Lady appears in a mask, and has a long conversation with the mother of the prodigal son. A few days afterwards a beautiful healthy baby is left in a basket at the door of the hotel of the family of the repro- bate nobleman. The Messrs. -——— refuse to advance money to ——— Bey. An agent dt change offers cash to a person who shall be nameless, and the Duchess, in order to avoid an interview with a high personage of the court, pretends she is laid up with chilblains. The grand monde of Paris is now in a state of excitement bordering on an emeute, whereupon the Emperor is applied to. Such is the scan-mag of the upper ten—in the most unhealthy state conceivable. "BAT-BLIND MATERIALISM."—The Emminer says that in France a spirit of bat-blind materialism has got fast hold of the middle classes of the com- munity and they will sacrifice nothing of present ease or enjoyment for sake of those who are to come after them. Love of liberty and love of country dwindle and die under the shade of absolutism. In Austria the people rubbed their hands and sneered when they heard of Konigratz; and there was not a thought or a threat of snatching up arms to defend the country—only the dominions of their despotic lord. How far constitutionalism may change this sullen and resentful feeling time alone can tell. There are JS40,000,000 of gold in the coffers of the bank, which, for the present, it will hurt nobo<ly to have set rolling through the veins of public employment and as to the price which the newly-issued Rentes fifteen or twenty years hence may bring—who thinks of that ? That is the affair of another generation—perhaps of another dynasty. EFFECT OF MUSIC ON COWS.—The Athenceuyn relates the following :— At a residence in this neighbourhood a flower-show was held on the lawn, which was separated byiron railings from afield where several cows wer»grazing. When the band began to play, the cows, which were at a considerable dis- tance, simultaneously ceased grazing and came up towards the lawn, standing in a row, with their heads stretched over the railings, intently watching the band, apparently with the greatest interest and astonishment. When the band ceased playing, they moved away to a distance, where they could graze undisturbed by the crowd, but always returned and watched the band, when it resumed playing, with the same apparent interest and absorbed attention. Of course, allusions to Orpheus and the Beasts were plentiful among the company. The caws certainly seemed the most attentive part of the audience, and the effeot of a row of fascinated cows with heads over the railings was very ludicrous. FOND OF FIGHTING !—The duel between Prince Achille Murat and the Marquis Gallifet is expected to come off thia week, says the Court Journal. They have already fought. The Empress has implored her cousin not to fight, and so have the ladies on both sides indeed it is rumoured that the entreaty of an influential person very close to the Queen has been added. Both combatants have already had to retire from the army, and the Emperor threatens them with greater severities. The cause of the fight is, that the Mar- quis will not believe that the Murats are real Princes, and the Prince says one or the other must die at the next duel, which, it is said, will be fought this time with pistols and outside France. Suppose the Prince kills the Marquis, will he convince the Marquis that the Murats are real Princes ? RECEIVING HIM ROYALLY !—The Duke of Edinburgh stayed three weeks in South Australia, and 200,000 people there kept holiday during that period to celebrate his visit. Twenty-five steamers, containing 10,000 persons, escorted his ship Galatea up the bay, to Melbourne, in Victoria. 150,000 persons thronged the streets of that city to welcome him. The address of the city to him was presented in the presence of 30,000 spectators 11,000 children sang the English National Anthem to him a free public banquet was given to 20,000 persons in the open air in honour of the royal visit. Hundreds of addresses were presented to the son of the Queen of England, expressing loyalty and affection. TLowna and villages filled with Germans and Chinese vied with people of English descent in expressions of loyalty and attach- ment towards the Prince and his mother. Balls, fire- works, and illuminations celebrated the royal visit, and joy-fires blazed on every hill for fifty miles round. The Galatea was to be escorted up Sidney Bay by nearly fifty steamers, containing 20,000 persons. The Prince laid the foundation stone of a public building with a trowel formed of solid gold, ornamented with precious stones. MINING EXTRAORDINARY.—Some remarkable Indian relics have been discovered by a party of prospectors in the district of the Yellowstone, Montana. They found an ancient "cairn," and on opening it they discovered beneath an Indian catacomb. Seated in a single row around the quadrangle were the remains of upwards of thirty warriors, from whose forms the flesh had long since mouldered away, and whose very bones crumbled into dust at the touch of the spectator. On the floor around lay numerous instruments of war or chase, some of iron and some of stone, and the entire apartment was covered with a fine and almost impalpable dust, which was all that remained of the fura and robes with which this abode of death had doubtless, at one time, been carpeted. Lying beside the bones were numerous ornaments, indicating the rank of the dead. What chiefly attracted attention was, however, a massive basin or kettle that occupied the centre of the apartment, and was doubtless used as a sacrificial censer for burning incense, it being two feet high and two feet and a half in circumference. This massive article, wonderfel to tell, proved on inspection to be pure gold, and was so heavy that the party had great difficulty in removing it from its resting-place and bringing it into the upper air. Its value is estimated at 100,000 dols, A PASSAGE OF ARMS !—In Paris, the other day, a duel took place on the raised terrace of the Tuileries gardens, which runs along the quays. The combatants were no lesa high and mighty than the Prince Imperial and his friend, young Conneau, son of Dr. Conneau. The boys had Chassepots, and fired away at each other for half an hour, ten shots per minute. It was intensely cold, yet at least two hundred persons watched the passage of arms as intently as though the fate of empires depended on its issue. Needless to remark that the Chassepots were innocent of either powder or ball. A TEST OF VERACITY.—The Montreal Herald says that in a case tried at one of the police-courts one of the witnesses declared he would not believe one of the parties on her oath. Mr. Justice Coursol, on inquiring the reas'^ ,received the following highly satisfactory reply»—"Shehas a broken window in the glass door ef her house, and won't mend it any way; she keeps a dirty house, and won't clean it; she was complained of for having a pig in the court-yard, and the .police were twice down last summer to her about it, but she won't remove it."—Another witness stated, as an equally valid reason why she should not be believed on oath, that she was an idler, and was fond of sodgers." A FAMILY POISONED.—Five members of a German family named Stang, in Chicago, the head of which is reported to be one of the wealthiest Germans in the city, have been poisoned, although not fatally. A young daughter of the family, aged sixteen, was arrested as the poisoner on the statement of one of the. children that she put the poison into the coffee. The young prisoner charges her mother with the deed, and states that her parents were so avaricious and grasp- ing that they ill treated her when she did not earn sufficient money to suit them. A SOLDIBR "DRUMMED OUT" FOR FENIANISM. On Monday morning the rare ceremony of drum- ming out" a soldier was performed at Walmer Bar- racks, the culprit being John Quin, late a private in the 7th Royal Fusiliers who was tried by Court-martial at Dover, on the 3rd ult., for making use of treason- able and traitorous language towards her Majesty the Queen, and also avowing himself a Fenian. The 6th depot battalion having assembled on parade, were formed in square and the prisoner placed in the centre. The sentence of the court. was then read by Captain and Adjutant Godfrey, after which the prisoner's facings, numbers, buttons, good conduct badge, &c., were cut off by two drummers, and his tunic turned inside out. The men were then formed in two lines facing inwards, and the culprit marched down the centre, followed by drummers and pipers playing the "Rrarue's March" to the barrack gate, when he was h»ed5uffed, and at once removed to the military prison at Canterbury, to undergo his sentence of two years' imprisonment. PreviouB to being drummed out the prisoner was branded on the left breast with the letters "B.C." HONOURS TO A BRAVE MAN !—Last Saturday, at the suggestion and recommendation of Admiral Schomberg, Queen's Harbour Master, Holyhead, the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society presented a first-class silver medal, together with a splendid illumined written testimony on parchment, beautifully fmmed, to Mr. Rowlands, aged 76, coxswain of the Holyhead life boat who by his heroic actions has been the means, during the past half-century, of saving 2iO lives. The presentation was immediately suggested on the occasion of the recent noble services of Coxswain Rowlands and his crew in saving thirty-three lives from the Lidia Williams, of Liverpool, and the Bayadere, a French barque, which foundered at Holyhead on 1st December last. The presentation was made by the Hon. W. O. Stanley, M.P., in the presence of Admiral Schomberg, Rev. T. Briscoe, Incumbent of Holyhead, Captain Caval, R.N., J. Provis, Esq., Hon Mrs. Stanley, Mrs. Schomberg and Misses Schomberg, &c. Suitable addresses were made by the Hon. Mr. Stanley and Admiral Schomberg, dilating on the noble services with which the coxswain was connected and the glorious result of hia exertions—the saving of upwards of 250 lives during his life-time. THE RAID AGAINST BEGGARS IN CUMBERLAND. The magistrates and police of Cumberland have carried out their crusade against beggars with such energy as to necessitate the issue of the following circular to the clerks of petty sessions in the county :— County Gaol, Carlisle, 31st January, 1868. Sir,— I am directed by the visiting justices to request that you will intimate to the magistrates of your bench that, the gaol being full, no prisoners under summary conviction will be received here until a very consider- able discharge has taken place, of which notice will be sent to you.—I am, sir, your obedient servant, T. H. REDIN, Governor. To the clerks of Petty Sessions." The justices are thus placed in a very per- plexing position, and, on Saturday, offenders who would have been sent to gaol at onee were let off on a month's trial, to see if they would do better." THE STATE OF THE CHURCH.—In London, on Sunday morning, the Bishop of Capetown preached after the third collect at morning prayer (which is said as a separate service) at 10.30 a.m., at St. Mary Mag- dalene's temporary church, Paddington. There was an overwhelming congregation, and the Bishop selected for his text a portion of the Epistle of St. Jude, that ye should contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the Saints." Having observed that in all ages of the Church perecution had been the lot of the faithful, he said that what the apostle in. fracted u* to contend for was "the faith," not the superstition Rome had engrafted on it, or the wild speculations of modern freethinkers the faith contained in the Holy Scriptures and enshrined in the creeds. No wonder that men immersed in business and pleasure, in politics or commerce, should care so little for divine things but the Church at the resent had to contend with the aggressions of Rome, and the opposition of political dissenters externally, and with internal dis- sensions likewise. They must be prepared to give up ease, quiet, reputation, property, life itself, rather than yield the faith. With regard to Bishop Colenso, his lordship observed that a complete reply to what had been said by the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of London would be forthcoming in a day or two. He could only say that the Church at home did not seem to realize the depth to which he (Bishop Colenso) had fallen. He not only denied that the Bible was the Word of God, but said that it could not be relied on as to faith and morals; that there was no reason to believe that our blessed, Lord knew more than any pious Jew; and that He was not worthy of adoration and worship. Fox HUNTING IN ROME.—A correspondent of a contemporary writes:— On Thursday, being a fine morning, the favourite meet of the hounds beyond the tomb of Cascilia Metella on the Appian Way was more numerously attended than any hitherto this season; sixty or seventy carriages full of ladies drew up en the high ground beyond the farm of Santa Maria Nuova, whence they witnessed the finding of the first fox, who, although he afforded only a quarter of an hour's gallop, after which he knowingly got to ground, sufficiently tested the capabilities of the field over the high fences and stone walls with which that part of the Campagna is intersected. There were a good number of English gentlemen in the saddle, among whom was Mr. Charles Knight, who has only recently returned to Rome, and whose experience in the Campagna renders him practically the best master of the Roman hounds. He was mounted on a fine thoroughbred, which he has brought out, with other horses, for the hunting season here, a difficult animal to ride, but which Mr. Knight managed with great'skil and patience. THE CHURCH IN THE WEST.—Mr. William Hepworth Dixon, in his Spiritual Wives, says that all Yankees who go to church delight in singing and in prayer, for which they seem to enjoy some special gifts. The Psalms of David and the Lord's Prayer supply them with the bases of a common service, suited to their simple tastes. A chapter from the Bible read by some farmer, with now and then a sermon from a preacher who chances to come that way, and is willing to oblige, satisfies their spiritual wants. The wanderer may preach any doctrine or no doctrine he may belong to any sect or to no sect; if the people like what he says, they will give him his dinner and a dollar if they like him very much, they may invite him to stay among them, and when they feel strong enough to build, they may raise him a log- church. It is in this simple way, and by this natural law, that churches grow in the great western country; not from the choice of those who make them, but from the pressure of a force beyond man's will. In all these churches, the preacher is of more importance than his book; the man rules in place of the canon hence the widest field is thrown open to personal daring, personal genius, and even personal freak. LIFB IN SICILY.—A letter from Partinico says two crimes have just been committed. A young man named Cormano waø.captured in his field in the midst of his labourers. During the night he was shot because his parents had not hastened to pay his ran- som. A young carter, Giovanni Mazza, being sum- moned to stop by these malefactors, not having been able to do so, as his horse taking fright started off at a gallop, was punished for his non-compliance by a volley. He was so badly wounded that his leg must be amputated. The chief of the rural guard was the only man that was thought to have rendered signal service to the public safety, and now he is accused of the murder of Palazzolo at Palermo before the inn of Pizzuto. Too CRUEL !—Here is the latest theatrical mot, as related by Mr. Edmund Yates, in Tinsley's Magazine:— A manager, who has never yet been accused of humour, wrote to a leading actress, asking her to play an engagement at the autumnal opening of the theatre, and begging her to wrote to a leading actress, asking her to play an engagement at the autumnal opening of the theatre, anù begging her to name her terms. The lady in reply expressed her willing- ness to accede to the proposition her terms were thirty pounds a night. The manager's reply was this:—"Dear Madam,—Make it shillings and it's a bargain." FALL OF AN AVALANCHE. — An avalanche lately fell at four in the morning at Bareges, in the Hautes-Pyrenees. It came from the Turon de Venne by the Gavin Thell, and struck near the officers' quarters of the military hospital. The debris choked up the bed of the Bastan and turned the stream into the principal street of Bareges, inundating a great number of houses, and tearing up the way to a depth of three feet. The inmates in many cases had difficulty in escaping with their clothes. The loss, not yet ascertained, is believed to be considerable. The necessary steps have been taken to remedy the effects of the disasters. SINGULAR CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION.—At the Abergavenny County Court, Joseph Holmes sued Charles Morgan for loss alleged to have been sustained by the slaughter of two cats. The plaintiff is a fish dealer and the defendant a butcher, and the nature of the case appears from the following particulars an- nexed in legal form to the summons :— To damage and-injury done to a cat belonging to the plaintiff, caught in a t^ap set in your slaughter-house, in or near Lion-street, when the left fore-leg of the said cat was broken^nd to compensation in rcspect of the same, JE1. To value of one cat belonging to the plaintiff caught and killed in the trap in the said slaughter-house, £2. The cats were named respectively u Spot," and "Jet," and according to the testimony of the plaintiff's wife, who gave her evidence with amazing emphasis, their value. and more especially that of the deceased co Spot," was not to be estimated by golden sovereigns." Legal gentlemen appeared on either side, and after a lengthy argument, and the submission of a case by the plaintiff s solicitor, the judge ruled that the cats were trespassers, and had come to their deaths by misadventure. The plaintiff was accordingly nonsuited. THE NATIONAL DEBT.—Mr, William Howiit, the author of CasselUs History of England, writes on the subject of the National Debt. Before the reign of Ch&rles II., he writes, these kingdoms knew nothing of a National Debt. At the accession of Anne, owing to the military exploits of William III. and Marl- borough on the Continent, it had swelled to jElC, 000,000. At the accession of George I. it had grown to .854,000,000; at the commencement of the American war to nearly £ 129 000,000; at the commencement of the great French war to a little more than £239,000,000 and that stupendous effort to restore to the French throne the effete Bourbons, with the addition of the Irish debt, brought it, in 1817, up to something more than £848,000,000. Between that time and 1833 the Government reduced the debt JE69,000,000, but since then it has begun to roll up again, and now stands at .8800,848,847. Since the passing of the Reform Bill, it # has increased no less than £20,000,000, and yet in the interim we have had the greatest prosperity, our export trade being now more than five times what it was in 1833. Under what possible felicitous combination of circumstances, asks Mr. Howitt, are we to liquidate the debt ? We have begun to regard it as part of our constitution and its reduction is opposed on the -ground that it would necessitate fresh taxes. True, exclaims Mr. Howitt but merely the* additional interest which we have in curred since the Crimean war would have been enough to wipe off one-fifth of the debt, and the amount paid for the last fifty years amounts to within JB300,000,000 of twice the sum. If we can pay it off, we should about it quickly. MURDER IN A CHURCH.—A few mornings ago, as the Abbe Gouaehe, cure of La Loupe, in France, was receiving the confession of a female penitent, a cattle-dealer, named Rousseau-Linas, hastily entered the church, and demanded that his confession should be heard without delay. The Abbe left the confes- sional to remonstrate with the new comer upon his unseemly conduct, whereupon the ruffian drew a knife and stabbed the priest so severely that he shortly after expired. The assassin, who was captured in a cafe, avers that he was seized with a sudden impulse to commit the crime. In support of this statement it was shown that the prisoner had been subject to fits of mental aberration. THE LARGEST PLANE TREE IN BRITAIN.— The oldest plane tree in Scotland, and perhaps the largest of its kind in Britain, fell in the gale of 1 riday week. It grew by the aide of the river Allan, near Dunblane, and was known as the Big Tree in Kip- penross" as long ago as the reign of Charles II. If some old papers [discovered in Dunblane are to be trusted, it was planted upwards of 46U years ago. Its cubic contents in 1821 amounted to 875 feet; and a measurement in 1841 proved it to be 100 feet in height, 20 in the girth round the smallest part of the trunk, 27 feet where the branches separate, and 42ft. 7in. at the base. The extreme width of the branches wa,a.,114 feet. A small part of the trunk survives the destruc- tive fury of last week's gale, and it is the intention1 of Mr. Stirling, of Kippendavie, to have this relic pro- tected by an iron fence. The rest of the tree will be used for making little articles that may serve as memorials of the fallen monarchs. TRADE OUTRAGE.—The Coventry Standard says F that an attempt was made to shoot Mr. Hitchins, a draper of the town, as he was passing over Gosford- green on his way home to Stoke on Friday night. An anonymous fetter was subsequently received by Mr. Hitchins, informing him that he was mistaken for some one else. It was as follows — Mr. Hitching It was not my Intention of shooting you but Paddy Heart and that—I will shoot and Kendrick and then I shall die happy. So help my God I shall never die happy till then Let him turn his men off that minds two Looms If they don't Come out they may look out has well has that Paddy good Night and god Bless you for your Life Being Spared. The Mr. Hart mentioned has sought to reduce the wages of some of his men, who refused to work on the new scale. He then sent to the workhouse where many weavers are employed breaking stones and picking oakum. As they also refused to work on his terms, the relieving officer refused them all assistance; hence a certain amount of exasperation against Mr. Hart. A MARRIAGE DISSOLVED.—In the Court of Divorce, on Tuesday, Sir J. P. Wilde delivered judg- ment in the cause of Hill v. Hill and Johnson, which was a suit promoted by the father of the husband for a decree of nullity of marriage on the ground of un- due publication of banns. The husband's real name was Johannes de Vere Hill; the wife's, Ellen Johnson. The banns were published at Liverpool in the names of John Hill and Ellen Johnson; and the question in- volved was whether this was done with the knowledge and consent of the wife for the purpose of concealment. The husband, who was a medical student of the age of seventeen at the time of the marriage, alleged that it was the wife, who was a servant in the family, de- clared on the other hand that it was not. # The hus- band's evidence having been corroborated in important particulars by the testimony of independent wit- nesses, his lordship held that the court should give credit to his statement, and accordingly pronounced the marriage null and void. DR. CUMMING'S OPINION. — Dr. Cumming, in a letter to the Daily Telegraph, says he is misunder- stood when people suppose him to be a prophet. I never in my life," he says, professed or attempted to prophesy. All I have ventured to do is to explain and unfold inspired prophecies in the Word of God." It follows of course that the doctor's prophecies have never been contradicted by facts. He challenges the production of an instance. He denies also that he has ever changed his opinion about the interpretation of prophecy. After recommending the editqjr of the Telegraph to read his last new book, of which he gives I the title and the publisher, Dr. Cumming says, On these subjects I have invariably spoken with the utmost reticence and reserve and now, after twenty years' study and writing on the subject, I find nothing to recal or retract. I believe, as I stated twenty years ago, that proximately 1867 winds up the 'times of the Gentiles.' Elliott states 1865 others say 18C8 —these bemginferences from the great chronologies of propheca^Wqgather from inspired prophecy that we are plunB^te times of unprecedented severity and trouble, IHBPthat it is time for every man, while doing his duty to his country, his family, and society at large, to have his loins girt and his lamp burning, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

EPITOME OF NEWS.